Farm Bill Snap cuts on Local Food Banks - News, Sports and Weather

Farm Bill Snap cuts on Local Food Banks

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Many people have been keeping a close eye on the Farm Bill status in Washington, and with the decrease in SNAP benefits funding such a major part of that bill, Joe Moeller talked to food pantries here in Great Falls and in Helena to see what potential impact this may have.

The Farm Bill has been a big dispute in Washington recently, especially with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program also known as SNAP which is for families in need of assistance with getting food on the table. The plan for the Farm Bill is to cut the SNAP program or Food Stamps by $4 billion to $39 billion which results in over 2 million Americans losing access to an estimated 1.5 billion meals, leaving many Americans with less assistance.

Now with such changes in the Farm Bill with SNAP benefits, many might be wondering what kind of impact this will have on our local food shares.

What this results in here for Montanans using SNAP benefits is a loss of 10 to 11 dollars per person per meal, which really adds up, which leads to more people to the local food pantry to pick up the slack.

Ann Waickman from the Helena Food Share said "It is challenging to live consistently with funding provided through SNAPs for that is your primary grocery budget."

When the government cuts the assistance to families over $100 for food per year, it is going to bring heavier traffic and a need for more food at the pantries.

Dave Abbott from the Great Falls Community Food Bank said "We are getting the amount of food that we are getting, I mean we have limited buying power, we are living of mostly donations we don't have any governmental support. So I am afraid that we are going to find ourselves, I am not sure we are going to be able to meet that increase in demand."

With an expected increase in demands, the local food shares are going to be looking for any assistance they can get.

Abbott continued "What can I do to help? So obviously they can donate food, they can come donate food to the food bank and provide monetary donations, and that will allow us to buy food that is not always donated."

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